Financial stocks led the way down in London, Paris and Madrid, with French Bank BNP Paribas, Spain's Bankia and Britain's Lloyds (LYG) all falling over 1% in early trading. And in London, Aberdeen Asset Management fell on profit-taking after Monday's acquisition of Lloyds' pensions and asset management group Scottish Widows.
LONDON ( The Deal) -- Activist investor Carl Icahn's warning Monday that the markets could face a big drop continued to have repercussions in Europe this morning, with markets starting the day in a markedly less optimistic mood.
But individual stocks did well. In Amsterdam, Dutch vitamins to petrochemicals group DSM soared on the announcement of its deal to sell its pharmaceuticals division to New York private equity firm JLL, which will merge the business with Canada's Patheon. DSM was up well over 3% in morning trading. And in London, budget airline Easyjet was up over 5.5% on a jump of 51% in pretax profit for the year to September and a 7% increase in profit per seat.1
The FTSE 100 was down 0.61% at 6682.18, In Frankfurt, the Dax was down 0.46% at 9183.18, although the mood was expected to improve after a much-watched index of German economic confidence, the ZEW index came in at 54.6 -- its highest monthly level since October 2009. In Paris, the CAC40 was down a full percentage point at 4277.25
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 closed down 0.25% at 15,126.56 after flatlining on Monday, and in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng was virtually unchanged at 23,657, ending a run of gains on optimism about mainland China's economic reforms.